The New England Patriots have seemingly positioned themselves to move on from Jarrett Stidham.
If they are ready, it appears the third-year quarterback already has a potential suitor. Per national football insider CJ Golson, the Houston Texans have reached out to the Patriots about Stidham’s availability.
Stidham has had a tough time breaking through with the Patriots. He barely played during his rookie season (throwing just four passes with one intercepted) when he was backing up Tom Brady. Many thought Stidham would be Brady’s successor once the latter bolted to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency last year.
However, the Patriots chose to sign Cam Newton in late June 2020. Newton won a quarterback battle over Stidham and Brian Hoyer (who the team recently re-signed) during an abbreviated training camp due to COVID-19.
Stidham was initially relegated to No. 3 on the depth chart, but he got a bump up in Week 4 against the Kansas City Chiefs when Newton missed the game after testing positive for COVID-19. Hoyer started in Newton’s place but was wildly ineffective.
Hoyer’s poor performance led to Bill Belichick pulling him in favor of Stidham, who produced mixed results. He threw two interceptions and a nicely placed touchdown throw to N’Keal Harry in a hotly contested loss.
The Patriots were forced off the following week to control the spread of the virus, but Newton came back in time for the team’s next game against the Denver Broncos. Unfortunately, Newton nor the rest of the team was quite the same, and the season took a wrong turn after they began 2-1. The Patriots finished 7-9, and Stidham didn’t earn an opportunity to start a game all season.
He did make a few appearances in mop-up duty. With New England drafting Mac Jones and bringing back Newton and Hoyer, many expect Stidham to be the odd man out.
That’s where the Texans potentially come into the picture.
The Texans’ Interest in Stidham Would Make Sense
The Texans’ new general manager is former Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio. While Belichick had the last say on draft picks for the past two decades, it is safe to conclude Caserio was likely in, to some degree, on the selection of Stidham in the fourth round back in 2019.
Just days after the Patriots made the selection, Caserio met with the media and talked about how “impressive” Stidham was during the pre-draft process.
It is possible that admiration has remained, and there is no telling whether Caserio was onboard with the Patriots turning to Newton over Stidham last season. Again, this could have been and likely was a decision made by Belichick.
We’ve seen the Texans scoop up other former Patriots, like aging offensive lineman Marcus Cannon via trade, so it wouldn’t be crazy to see Caserio interested in Stidham.
Stidham Would Be Landing in Another Interesting Situation
While being the fourth quarterback on the Patriots’ roster isn’t ideal, Stidham’s landing with the Texans behind an unhappy Deshaun Watson (who is involved in a legal situation after several unsavory accusations) also has its potential challenges.
The Texans also have capable veteran Tyrod Taylor; they drafted Davis Mills and also signed Jeff Driskel.
Stidham would be the fifth quarterback on their team unless Houston has already committed to trading Watson, which wouldn’t be surprising.
It’s going to be interesting to watch that unfold, but at this point, it would be surprising if Stidham or Watson was with their current teams when the 2021 NFL season begins.
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